The 178 members of Special Olympics Team BC 2016 are set to travel from sea to sea to compete in the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games, which are being held in Newfoundland and Labrador for the first time in the 47-year history of Special Olympics Canada Games.
Team BC 2016 is comprised of 126 athletes with intellectual disabilities, 42 volunteer coaches, and 10 mission staff from 31 communities around the province.
From March 1-5, Team BC will go for gold at the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook, competing in seven sports: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing, and speed skating.
The Comox Valley is sending 11 athletes and three coaches to the Games. Ken Davidson (Courtenay), Shelley Marinus (Courtenay) and Sherri Lines (Courtenay) are entered in the curling competition.
Playing for Team BC (Comox Valley) Vipers floor hockey team are Bobby Bolen (Cumberland), Brad Hogan (Courtenay), Jake Hooper (Lazo), Joe Grubweiser (Courtenay), Ken Breland (Courtenay), Matthew Cadwell (Courtenay), Max Porter (Lazo) and Terry Daniels (Courtenay). Floor hockey coaches are Ed Houlihan (Courtenay), Larry Cagna (Courtenay) and Randy James (Courtenay).
During the Games, supporters of Team BC are welcome to send emails with cheers that will be shown to the respective members. Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Since qualifying for their spots on Team BC 2016 through their performances at the 2015 Special Olympics BC Winter Games in Kamloops, the provincial team athletes and coaches have been hard at work with the team training program to help them be at their best at the National Games.
The athletes have been putting in a lot of time and effort in their home communities both on and off their fields of play, logging hours of training in their sports as well as taking on dryland training, improving their physical fitness, and stepping up their nutrition.
“The members of Team BC 2016 have really ramped up their training and raised their game in order to compete at the national level,” said Leslie Thornley, Team BC 2016 Chef de Mission. “They have been working hard for three years to reach this event, and I know they will do B.C. proud. Their abilities and their sportsmanship will inspire everyone watching.”
Special Olympics competitions operate on a four-year cycle for both summer and winter sports. Athletes compete in regional events and then Provincial Games to advance to National Games, and Special Olympics Canada Games are the qualifiers for Special Olympics World Games. In Corner Brook, athletes will be competing for the opportunity to advance to the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.
Through these competitions and training, Special Olympics athletes empower themselves and inspire everyone around them as they set and achieve goals, build pride and confidence, and forge valued friendships.
The 2016 Special Olympics Canada Games will see more than 950 delegation members from Canada’s 10 provinces and two of three territories come together to compete in Corner Brook, creating an outstanding display of sport and sportsmanship in seven sports.
For more on Team BC, go to www.soteambc2016.ca